Establish and support the International Tribunal of Reparation
- African Union
This petition is conceived as the logical next step to several initiatives that the Organization of African Unity, currently African Union, United Nations, Republic of Haiti, Caribbean Community (Caricom), and civil society have undertaken to eliminate the impact of slavery, racism, discrimination and related exclusion.
On the borders of certain countries (e.g., Israel and United States) fences are built to socially isolate, exclude and/or separate targeted communities formed of individuals that are deemed illegal by national laws. In most of those cases, significant numbers of people (e.g., Somalis, Congolese, Syrians, etc.), due to religious, ethnic, and racial conflicts, are forced to resettle in refugee camps and/or faraway countries where they have no previous ties. While the factors underlying such cases vary; by and large, the results are seizures of land, property, resources, and other possessions of these families that are displaced. For instance, the recent decision of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic (case number 168-13) to render thousands of Dominicans Stateless on the basis of their African ancestry calls to question the Cultural Heritage of the Island of Ayiti, which African Studies, as well as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), recognize as the Nation where Africans rose to affirm their humanity in the New World.
These alarming situations do not mean the whole world is facing a new phenomenon, However, they do indicate widespread systemic impunity, and denial of due process. In a general sense, specific attention should be focus on the plight of Africans who for more than a century have presented a valid case for Reparations from Slavery. While this request continues to be formulated, no court of law has deemed it necessary to adjudicate their claim. However, Reparation is not such a controversial issue; for instance, the U.S. government formally apologized for the internments of nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans that were forcibly relocated and confined by the U.S. military following Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, by signing into law the Civil Liberties Act on August 10, 1988. This law also granted reparations to surviving internees and their families.
The case for Restitution and Reparation is considered beyond dispute by many thinkers, policymakers, and advocates who cite negative health outcomes from Slavery and Racism among significant segments of the world’s population. In a seminal report, the Boston Public Health Commission published in 2005, the researchers found racism to be a leading contributor to Health Disparities among Blacks and Latinos. Such findings are easily corroborated by other reports such as the UN’s annual Human Development Index (HDI) that shows most Africans on the continent and abroad occupy the lowest echelon for life expectancy, income, and education (http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr2013_en_summary.pdf).
Therefore, the most effective manner to address those egregious cases, such as the thousands of Dominicans rendered Stateless, is to convene a judicial process for the victims to seek redress to their grievances based on this common accord: “National laws are subservient to International Courts” (The Economist, December, 2013).
The effects from Slavery and its current forms of segregation and exclusion based on Race and Class continue to wreak havoc on the majority of non-white folk. Therefore, it becomes imperative that those whose existence is merely to survive this “Tyranny of the skin” (James, 1963) find real social justice to White Supremacy and Racism.
To this end, the establishment of an International Tribunal of Reparation is proposed as the logical next step to all the efforts that have been made to eliminate Slavery, Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance.
We, the signatories, call on the African Union to establish this International Tribunal of Reparation with the specific mission to adjudicate the claims of Restitution, Reparation, and other social demands due to Slavery, Racism, and related Fanaticism.
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The Establish and support the International Tribunal of Reparation petition to African Union was written by Nkrumah Institute of Pan-Afrikan Studies and is in the category Justice at GoPetition.